The New York Times has an interesting article that points to the price of beef bowls (gyudon) as a sign of deflation. Sukiya, Yoshinoya, and Matsuya have all been slashing prices, it says, and that’s not a good thing:
The battle has also come to epitomize a destructive pattern repeated across Japan’s economy. By cutting prices hastily and aggressively to attract consumers, critics say, restaurants decimate profits, squeeze workers’ pay and drive the weak out of business — a deflationary cycle that threatens the nation’s economy.
Eating a beef bowl for lunch or a late-night snack in Japan is the equivalent of going to Burger King, but much tastier, in my opinion.